tv America Tonight Al Jazeera January 1, 2014 9:00pm-10:01pm EST
welcome to al jazeera america. i'm jonathan betz with tonight's top stories. the northeast is preparing for the first snow storm of 2014, forecasters say it should begin snowing in new york tonight and move into new england. as much as a foot or more of snow could fall. temperatures will end up around zero°. the president's health care law hit a last minute snag. justice soto mayor, white house has until friday to respond. lines have been very long in colorado today, now that the state's become the first to male allow marijuana for recreational
use. out of state vistaors can buy a quarter ounce. a century old ban has been lifted. the boy scouts of america will now allow openly gay scouts. under the law kids cannot be banned from troupes because of their sexual orientation. in south sudan, government negotiators are in ethiopia. fighters are hoping to recapture the key city of bor. those are the headlines. "america tonight" starts now.
>> good evening and thanks for being with us. i'm joie chen. the year starts as it always does with our very best intentions, resolutions to get fit. for many of us, resolution to quit smoking. everything from cancer to heart disease. one in five americans still does smoke. many have tried everything to quit. but in "america tonight" investigation we learned that one method which has been successful for many of the hundreds of thousands of people who have tried it, i it may pose serious even fatal results to others. adam may reveals, stop smoking pill called chant inkx have committed suicide. >> in huntsville, alabama
he whereas taking -- he had become very angry. he hung himself. i could not save him. >> according to u.s. food and drug administration documents obtained by "america tonight", under the freedom of information act, 544 have been reported as adverse veents, attributed to chantix. 1869 attempted suicides associated with chantix. we should point out these adverse events don't prove that people become suicidal or have any other side effect, for that matter. chantix helps people stop smoking, reducing the urge to smoke. about one in five smokers, is able to quit and you ideal conditions during clinical
trials. that's slightly better than counseling or nicotine counseling therapy or twice as effective as a placebo. but some chantix users have reported anger, depression, hallucinations and other serious side effects. dr. michael segal, a professor at boston public health has studied tobacco and rm, for the last 20 years. >> serotonin is known to be involved in mental illnesses especially in depression. so it's actually not surprising that a drug like chantix could have effects on personality, and could lead to depression and suicidality. >> approved by the food and drug administration in 2006 chantix users began reporting troubling side effects almost immediately.
some of the defects reported in this is almost, a 42-year-old man walked up to a stranger in a bowling alley and suddenly punched him and another man hit his wife then hung himself. >> studied and other violent acts reportedly linked to chantix. he was also a consultant to lawyers suing the drug's manufacturer, pfizer over these side effects. >> these cases had three striking characteristics. first violence was absolutely unpredictable and senseless. second, the victim was just anybody who happened to be nearby. could have been a fiancee, could have been a mother, could have been a police officer. thirdly, these were unlikely for
a violent effect. >> over a five year period for all prescription drugs sold in the united states. >> how did chantix rate? >> it was by far the worse. it had 18 times more reports than expected and many more reports than any other drug. serious side effects, there were side effects that looked like it made it unsafe for pilots and those in critical occupations because there were seizures, blackouts, blindless, blurry vision. >> in may 2008 the institute for safe medication practices published a report saying the organization had immediate safety concerns about chantix, among persons operating aircraft, trains, buses and other vehicles. that report prompted the faa and the defense department to ban chantix use among pilots and air
traffic controllers. the federal agency that governs truckers, says chantix may affect the driver's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. and the department of transportation sent warning of the potential threat to public safety caused by the anti-smoking drug chantix. moore thinks those restrictions don't go far enough. >> people who carry weapons for a living such as police officers, military but others, should not take a drug which is not well documented, cause uncontrollable rage. >> the food and drug administration, in a statement to "america tonight", says the controlled clinic trials found no more violence among chantix treated patients than placebo treated patients. even so in 2009, the fda serious
>> no, not at all. >> how convinced are you that the drug is what caused this breakdown? >> without a doubt. i went off the deep end. it changed my mind. it changed my brain. it changed the chemical in my brain. and it caused this, absolutely. i'm absolutely positive that it was the chantix. >> pfizer, the drug company that manufactures chantix recently paid close to $300 million to settle some of the 2700 lawsui
lawsuits, of serious side effects. at the same time the company has also stepped up its advertising of the drug. the federal judge overseeing the chantix lawsuit inga lawson, sufficient warnings of the drug's potential risks making future unlikely. the fda should pull chanti dprvetion from the market. >> if they seriously think that the risk of suicide is high enough and that it warrants a black box warning about suicide then i think they have no choice but to take the drug off the market because a black box warning for suicide is not a deterrent. >> pfizer declined to sit down with us about the story. an important treatment option for adult smokers who want to quit. written 59 million prescriptions for chantix in the united
states. worldwide sales of the drug tops $10 billion. >> they need to take the drug off the market. >> tina says her life is finally back to normal. she turned down a settlement offer from pfizer so she could keep speaking out. >> very fortunately i'm okay i'm living a great life now and that's behind me. it could have turned out much differently. i could have turned out like many of the other people who killed themselves or hurt someone else. >> james mayhaul wishes everything could have turned out differently. >> had two speeding tickets in my life. blue collar worker, paid my taxes, never hurt anybody. in just one week, one week, i lost my job, just about ruined
everything. >> now facing nine more months behind bars, hard time he blames on chantix. >> "america tonight" correspondent adam may reports. the fda has no plans to pull chantix from the market. violence by chantix users and to report back by 2017. coming up next, keeping tabs on yourself, the pluses and minus he of your everyday life. does the quantified self add up?
>> welcome back. time to crunch some numbers here. logging every move about you. what you eat, who you love, how much you sleep. it may sound like more work for you but there are lots of folks who truly believe there's power in numbers. on this here's "america tonight"'s michael oku. >> like most people paul grono is trying to maintain balance in his life by staying fit, staying socially engaged and of course, keeping up with his daily e-mails. but there's one big difference between paul and the majority of us. for the last four years, grono has been meticulously recording tracking and creating numerical graphs that correlate with almost every act he performance,
every moment, no matter how small in his life. >> what compelled you to start this in the first place? >> i think curiosity. >> what did you do? >> started a tab in excel. and just for every day put in how many miles i ran and if i went to the gym, how much work i did at the gym. and about a month or two later i think pretty early on i started tracking sleeping as pel. >> grono's obsession with monitoring his life has, his blood levels his commute time how much he meditates, how many hours he's exposed himself to the sun. the san francisco resident is recently engaged so there's even a category called courtney. there he can survey the length of their relationship, their favorite relationships, their intimacy. >> this sounds like ocd, if it's not ocd, it's something
approaching it, the different strain perhaps. >> the difference i feel from ocd is i control it, it doesn't control me. i try to understand the cadence of my life, if i'm not being active enough, not sleeping enough, drinking too much, gently nudge myself into the range of what i want to be in. i'm going olive my life whatever. the question is how directed am i as i live that life. >> according to a pew report, 70% of american adults already track personal health indicators. their weight, diet or exercise. to date, millions are doing it with technology. research shows that by 2017, there will be over 170 million health and fitness smartphone apps or awarable devices in the marketplace, fueling what's expected by then to be a $20 billion industry.
>> this is the heart rate monitor. garman watch, fitbit that measures my steps. >> maria is not your typical tracker. she says she's always been an early adopter at technology and something of a natural of documenting. help her track and then resolve health issues after she turned 50. >> about ten years ago, i was maybe 45, 50 pounds leafer. my knees were just killing me. i could barely walk up the stairs. i was staring down the road of medications and a host of illnesses coming with age. so i took my health very seriously in order to change my life. and it paid off.
my cardiologist was just so impressed by my blood work, and he said you know, if everybody did what i did, health care costs would be incorporate near where they are these days. -- nowhere near where they are these days. >> bennett and grono are part of the wave of the quantified self movement. people who have made a lifetime out of chronicling their personal data from those obvious things like fitless health and nutrition, to aspects of our lives you wouldn't expect to be quantifiable, movements, even love. >> spent 50% of my life surviving in this world, sleeping, eating, other stuff. >> dozens more convening by the thousands at international conferences from africa, asia,
europe, growing qsers, gary wolf is the founder of the quantified self movement, an editor for the technical industry's wired. >> tracking something like where they're going. their metabolism. their medicine, their symptoms, their movements. there will be hundreds of millions in a blink ever an eye and they'll be tracking a far bigger range of things than we can even imagine at this moment. >> we stand on scales to get our weight, we balance our checkbooks. we have been tracking ourselves for a long length of time. what's changed? >> i think what's going on in the world of the quantified self is based on fundamental human practices and desires and needs to take stock of onc ones self,
serveo with new tools. >> many of the tracking device ars qsers use, support from like minded strangers. but some say that all this self-tracking can inhibit people from simply living in and enjoying the moment. >> it outsources our memory or our awareness. because if we have the gadgets to record the moments for us, the pictures, the numbers, we are apt to pay less attention to the world. >> you have to start to wonder whether this obsession with seeking data becomes so strong, is it actually interfering with the way people would like to go about living their day-to-day lives? >> clinton kricher psychologist and professor marketing at usc's
haas school of business: >> as a result i think that makes us feel more confident in going through what is inherently uncertain world. >> kricher believes qsers, false correlations. >> the more you measure the more you see correlations between those variables just by chance. another concern is just because two variables are related doesn't mean one causes the other. >> you looked at yoga. >> looked at yoga attendance and found a .18 correlation. >> long term benefits of increasingly engaged self trackers in the world far outweigh problems. >> the benefit of people having practice taking measurements with themselves will lead to overall better care, even when they're interacting with
experts. >> hunter lee ask taking the movement one step further. he is the founder of shadow a mobile application meant to help you remember and record your dreams. >> i wasn't blown away by the concept of dreaming and the idea that for one-third of our lives our body is suspended and free from reality. what you keep from analyzing anything is a deeper understanding of yourself. and it's very different for different people. for me, i really can look at this data or i have an interesting thing to talk about at a dinner party. >> guys i just want to see something quick. we have eight ph.d.es, on the system, without the kind of brains we would be just another company that's trying to build a dream app. we want to be a dashboard for quantifiedself, so you can see in real time how is the data
kind of affecting you on a subconscious level or unconscious level. >> not about the data or the services offered. >> quantified self is about the personal value and the personal meaning that you can get from your own data. when the focus is not just on finding answers but on being able to ask your own questions, that's when you're dealing with the quantified self. >> "america tonight" correspondent michael oku doing it by the numbers. coming up next here, seeing red, the epic battle between two american giants.
cutting down the trees and making the whole global climate change situation worse. >> redwoods are the tallest trees on earth. it's estimated that old growth redwoods once covered close to 2 million acres of coastal california. 96% has been lost to commercial logging and about half of what remains are protected. while trees in the artasia property are not old growth, hundreds of them stands between 50 and 80 foot tall. >> there are a number of trees on it. trees to do not make a forest. >> sam is a spokesman. he says the company first proposed the land conversion flojt 2001. >> artes has owned this property for 15 years.
its desire was to take a distressed former apple orchard and turn it back into working agricultural working vun yards. >> where there is a forest he sees farmland in neglect. >> this does not qualify as a forest. >> in may 2004, cal fire approved the redwood clearing projects. following a lengthy analysis, official determined the environmental damage would be less than significant. cal fire declined to be interviewed for this story but critics consider its reviewed of the artasia project was flawed, because its purpose was to facilitate the sale of forest product. >> not designed to protect the environment. those policies were designed
historically to promote the harvesting of wood, the production of agriculture. >> adina says that are lax state regulations have allowed for a surge in forest to agriculture conversions along the state's northern coast. >> even though you minimize your impact, everyone is having a little bit of impact and those impacts add up. we hesitate to have government play that role. >> she is alarmed that more and more coastal lands have been bought up by wine makers, including those that have not been farmed. coastal sonoma county, now 2500 and counting. >> it's hard for people to see all the vineyard conversion that goes on in california. it goes on in these hillsides to accommodate the desire for
higher quality vineyards. you don't drive by them, you fly over them. >> global warming will dramatically impact the world's grape growing regions, forcing cooler areas to maintain productivity. the gloomy forecast confirms what many wine makers are experiencing. >> we are definitely seeing the impacts of some kind of climate change. and who we're seeing first here are extremes. which to me is kind of the harbinger of change to come later on. >> mike benziger started his winery in the hard of the sonoma valley 30 years ago. >> think of wine as a portrait of what happens on that property. and what happens in that year. that portrait will be very blurry if it comes from an environment that is poor. but if it comes from a really
healthy environment you can get hd. >> still benziger's processing operation was -- operation was not always so green. as wine makers face greater pressure to expand he's concerned that reckless development could back fire. >> no, i'll worried about overexpanding in that area there. we have had players give us a bad reputation. we've worn the black hat. it only takes one guy to mess it up for everybody. >> back in coastal sonoma county, chris pohlman's group: >> roseanne barr retweeted one of our tweets. >> likes to frame its save the redwoods campaign as a david versus goliath struggle. >> we can't compete dollar for
dollar. where we can compete is in our message. >> over the summer they stopped a massive vineyard conversion projects on a 20,000 acre piece of land. and earlier in the year, a sonoma county court ruled that the project's environmental impact report was inadequately. despite the favorable verdict, conservationists are bracing for a long fight. >> just because someone says no in california never means it's the end. artessa has been wrongly positioned as someone who doesn't care about the environment. nothing can be further from the truth. the company and its owners have more than 450 years of environmental stewardship in creating wineries in spain and that's what they've done in napa valley, that's where they've gotten a green certification and artessa will look at what paths are available to it to restore the apple orchard.
>> mike benziger believes that the ultimate decision lies with the consumer. and how they spend their money. >> my belief is the consumer is going to help drive this. they're looking more and more and i see more interest for wines produced responsibly. if it's a choice of wiengs produced with maybe no sustainable story and one that is, they'll take the sustainable wine off the shelf. >> for now chris pullman and his neighbors are doing everything they can to keep the bulldozers away. >> is the world going to be a better place because artessa can make coastal pinot noir with this terroir? i think so but what's lost? >> "america tonight"'s sheila
consider this: the news of the day plus so much more. >> we begin with the government shutdown. >> answers to the questions no one else will ask. >> it seems like they can't agree to anything in washington no matter what. >> antonio mora, award winning and hard hitting. >> we've heard you talk about the history of suicide in your family. >> there's no status quo, just the bottom line. >> but, what about buying shares in a professional athlete? >> government shutdown, budget battle? 2013 was a hectic year for the president and the affordable care act. meanwhile in american homes, families are struggling with a far more personal fight: about the end of life.
of course it's impossible to think about living without the one you love. but it is an effort to start the discussion and poised to calmly prepare our families for the end. >> my name is joe nire and i'm 47 years old. i was diagnosed with gliobla glioblastoma stage 4. standard protocol is for you to be on chemokind of for life. that is five days on and 18 days off. i did the five days on it, felt you know pretty horrible, for sure. and it took me 13 of those 18 days before i could really get off the couch and get back to being able to do what i love, you know because it's much more about quality of life than it is to quantity. i opted to not continue the
chemo-protocol at all. it was too much time of feeling horrible you know an for very slim gain. >> joe spokes with his family, wife laurie, sons alex, aaron and zeke and brother david, about how he wanted to be cared for and how he wanted to die. >> if i got pneumonia i would probably good to the hospital if it's a treatable condition. if it's cancer related, i don't want to be away from here. i can see and feel people going gosh why is he not going to do everything he can? i am doing everything i can. i'm doing everything i think is best for everybody involved, myself and the family and i knew for me, for joe, that it was my way to go. >> the kind of death joe nire envisions is rare. despite surveys showing most
americans would prefer to die at home, more than two-thirds die in a hospital or nursing home. many after stays in an intensive care unit like this one at boston's beth israel deconess. >> probable bacterial meningitis, along with a whole bunch of other lab abnormalities. temp 103. daughter here, her husband does not understand that she's doing very badly. >> so it sounds operates serious. >> today dr. asha anandire and her team is treating a 60-year-old woman with multiple organ failure. >> this woman came in last night, we don't know which way it's going to go, but it's clear to the family that the patient
is almost as sick as she can be. do you have any questions now? i know it's overwhelming. we don't know if she will survive. we often have to start thinking about what the patient would want, in terms of things like remaining on life support for a more prolonged period. >> nurse kathy purcell has worked in the icu for 20 years. >> patients get acutely ill, come into the icu and nobody's disgusted. say let's not do more aggressive measures. they will say to the staff, of course, mom would want that done. other members would say no, she wouldn't have want that done. the way i help and a lot of us do is to say to the family members, now, if your mom was listening to us what would she be telling us to do? what was important to her in her life? i think if decisions were made by patients prior to their
admissions and expressed to their family then a lot of the suffering that goes on right now would be avoided. >> that's the goal of the conversation project. a new organization founded by a pulitzer prize winning columnist, ellen >> greg: goodman. >> my conversations grew out of the end of my mother's life. i was face wednesday a cascading number of decisions for her health care. and i wasn't always certain what she would have wanted. i often wished that i could have said mom, is this what you want me to do? is this what you want to have happen to you? >> the project website offers tools ohelp families think about and talk about what kind of death death they want. >> when you ask people, how they
want to die, 70% of them say they want to die at home, for example. and home is not a geographic place, necessarily. but it's an idea. it's a way you want to die peacefully, not in pain, surrounded by people you love. not in the icu. people are not dying in the way they would choose. that's a big motivat motive fore conversation project. >> that's how jay felt about his father's death. so he and his wife decided to have the conversation with their children, starting with 22-year-old kaitlin. >> when he got sick at the end i don't know if anybody knew who was supposed to make the decision. some family members thought grandpa needed more care and should go to the intensive care unit. where other family members thought he should just be allowed to be home and be comfortable.
so it was very confusing. >> if something happened to me today i would not want to be kept alive by medicine. if i didn't have a chance to recover or if i didn't know you. >> if there's something going on with me and you're not sure how things would turn out, say, is mom actually going to get better? or is she going olive, but she'll never talk to us again? >> okay. >> for me the important thing is, it's not what's the best medical thing that's aut out the and everything that could possibly be done. it's dignity for me. it's -- >> comfort. >> comfort. >> the syhers are using the conversation project starter kit as a guide. >> it gave an outline which was very helpful and important. all i could look back at my father-in-law or somebody that i had lost and say well, what
would i have done in that circumstance? >> we change the way we give birth in america. it was women had their feet in stir ups, they were knocked out. it was women l but parents in general who said wait let's have this experience the way it should be. this is not only a medical experience, it's a life experience. and i think if we change the way we gave birth in america, we can change the way we die in america. there are lots of hospitals where hearing providers are eager to respect wishes. but it's been really hard to feel comfortable doing that. so what they need is for the culture around them to change. >> how are you? >> good. >> dr. laura rock agrees. she says when patients' wirks
aren'patients' wishesaren't clel necessary to give more treatment than necessary. >> it's rare that we have a family that comes in and has had conversations about the kind of care that they would choose or their loved one would choose at the end of their life. it's rare. and when they have had those conversations, they aren't burdened with guilt in making decisions that they think are leading to the death of someone they love. >> that's what joe nire has tried to do to his family by talking with them about how he wants to die. >> no matter what, it's not going to be easy for the kids, for laurie. but it's a lot easier if you talk this stuff through. if you communicate this out, death's not going to go away. but the fear, anxiety, can go away if you are clear and communicate with each other and it's huge.
>> giving voice to the conversation project. ahead in our final segment, a new flavor south of the border, sure, we know what you think of when you hear taiwa tijuana. but it's a very different place after the break. find out what's really happening at fukushima daiich >> three years after the nucular disaster, the hidden truth about the ongoing cleanup efforts and how the fallout could effect the safety of americans >> are dangerous amounts of radioactive water, leaking into the pacific eververyday? >> join america tonight's michael okwu for an exclusive four part series, as we return to fukushima only on al jazeera america
hottest new art scenes south of the border, in tijuana, pasaje rorgz. pasaje rodriguez. are abandoned souvenir shops into art galleries. even the man el muerto has an electric vibe. until recently this scene in this place would have been unimaginable. swept up in a brutal drug war. many residents fled tijuana. tourism long the city's life blood many dried up. now tijuana is experiencing what many call a rebirth led by a vanguard of musicians and artists. sculptors like efren para. >> what was it like when you were able to open the pasasa
rodriguez. >> many left their goods. >> how would you characteristic the transformation of tijuana? >> we actually didn't think of transforming tijuana. tijuana seems like one of those cities every ten, 12 years, reinvents itself. >> this latest is an unlikely one. a home grown renaissance has taken place. >> tijuana used to be supported by the people coming from other places, especially tourism, but at one point with the violence that erupted here in the city it all went away. >> roberto mendoza is one of the most famous musicians in mexico. his former group nortek
collective is known over the world. a lifetime resident of tijuana. >> tijuana is happening, especially with the local people. you don't see a lot of tourists, but a lot of locals everywhere from the clubs, bars to the restaurants. you see all these new faces, new generations growing up and people just enjoying the city. that's like the biggest difference between now and before. >> it's almost like some of the tourism had gone away, you know, at first maybe that might have seemed like a detriment or a bad thing. but it seems what you're saying is now there's more community. >> yeah, i didn't know how to say it but exactly it's like that. >> the danger hit pretty close to your home. >> oh yeah. there were hard times at one point because even though we
were especially in a very quiet part of town in the city, it's like right just like two blocks from here, they used to have a hostage house like where they bring the people that are being kidnapped. and we didn't even know about it until the police raid the place. it's the point where you think of really leaving the city. but we just hang in there. >> if there's anyplace that symbolizes tijuana's transformation it's the many old art center. >> casa del furnal, is right next to the border with the united states. an enclave for artists, maclada dread cheatham is the director. >> it went to a parking lot. see that parking lot across?
that's where the tunnel came out from this building. >> where those cars are right there. >> yes, that's where the cars are. it's kind of eerie. the coyotes, that's why we want to turn it into something really positive. >> maria terrea is the head of music at the center. >> it's are really kind of a met for. a lot of the bad of tijuana has been magnified out of proportion. >> why prides itself from being a cultural hub of the community. on this night, the music is eave roafrocuban. >> when i first moved here in '92 it felt almost like a harlem
renaissance. i was completely amazed at the quantity quality and the quantity of art and the level of art and the level that people were educated about art. and to the drug wars it was truly tragic to see. but the youth really stood up. it's coming back. >> the kids and the youth have taken over. they've taken over with art and culture. and that's the way it should be. it's not the border that it used to be. totally different than the americans coming, getting drunk. no, that's the same old tijuana. it's totally different. >> i'm a merchant. i've been here for many years in this same street maybe 30 years. >> not everyone is convinced that tijuana is bake. raymondo gomez owns this business on the main street. american tourists were his best
customers and without them he still struggles. in the new art scene he sees a ray of hope. >> maybe the way the american tourism or the other foreign tourists, they see and they think to come again. >> i was hearing the shootings all the time, sirens, police, ambulances every day, it's like a war zone. >> it's not just the souvenir shops that depend on free-spending tourists, javier placensia is one of the mexico's most acclaimed chefs. we met him at his new restaurant. >> we decided to open this restaurant when juana was going through very harsh times. i probably hurt and saw shootings, three, 74 times a week. >> placencia and his family own several high-end restaurants in
tijuana. a few years ago, gangsters tried to kidnap his brother. the family made a tough decision. >> we left tijuana, my whole family, brothers, sisters, parents, everybody. my parents have been in the business for 46 years in the city. he told me, i never seen, experienced anything like that. are the placencia family going to close their business, not see them anymore? i was thinking to myself, i felt sort of like a coward for leaving. i wanted to do something about it, because i was reading in the newspaper skiing how these bad people were taking over our city. >> now, mission de la nueve is not only getting rave reviews from customers but from the new york times. each evening the dining room is filled, still mainly locals but
a trickle of americans. it's a start. >> i feel very proud of what we did. and i feel very lucky to be living at this time. and how the future looks. i feel very excited. >> how does the future look? >> very, very, very bright. i love this city and i couldn't be happier. >> also looks pretty delicious. "america tonight"'s lori jane gliha reporting from tijuana. that's it for us on "america tonight". please remember if you would like to comment log on to our website, aljazeera.co aljazeera. tell us what you want to see in our twitter page or facebook. join us tomorrow where weet havl have more of "america tonight". good night.
>> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm jonathan betz with tonight's top stories. the american northeast has been preparing for the first snow storm of 2014. it should begin snowing in new york overnight and then move into new england. more than a foot of snow could fall. some areas in massachusetts have already closed schools for thursday and friday. you can now light up marijuana in colorado. out of state visitors can buy a quarter ounce, residents an ounce. now allowing openly gay